- Security is still a major concern for IoT enabled devices. And for healthcare devices, that undoubtedly is an uncompromisable front.
- The rise and fall of Theranos has taught us to be skeptical about things which sounds too good to be true.
- Healthcare devices go through rigorous testing.
A brief overview of IoT“In the year 2008, the number of ‘things’ connected by internet had already exceeded our population!” Almost every IoT enabled device has the following components -
- A sensor or a device
- Connecting unit
- Data Processing unit
- User Interface
Healthcare challengesHealthcare industry faces perpetual challenges. When it comes to health, no compromise is entertained. Even with years of researches, certain challenges are tough to deal with. Some of such challenges are -
- Timely detection of health problems and prevention of death due to delay in treatment.
- Health monitoring and caring.
- Inconvenient diagnostic techniques.
- Creating the right ambience for the patient.
- Medical Imaging. Finding the line between data loss and optimization.
- Accuracy in measurements and medical diagnostics.
How IoT comes into the picture“As of 2015, the largest contributor to the global smart healthcare market is North America, with a value of 2015” Deaths due ambulance delay are not very infrequent. Especially at busy hours, in the prevalence of road congestions. To add to the number of deaths due to delay in treatment, a number of times ‘it becomes too late for treatment’, when a disease is not detected on time. Deaths due to ambulance delay can be prevented if IoT enabled inhouse treatment can be provided. Wearable devices capable of monitoring heart rate, energy expenditure, sleep cycle, steps taken are no longer uncommon. These devices can be a huge aid in timely detection of health problems. “A good example of such resolution is Google’s DeepMind, which utilizes AI and mobile tools to accelerate the process of ‘disease detection followed by treatment.” Fitbit and other similar devices are good examples of health monitoring wearables. Health monitoring and caring is currently the most significant use case of IoT in healthcare. Smart Pills is a good example of how IoT can help in remote monitoring and caring of patients through an app by regularizing their medicine intake. One significant mention here can be made of the use of RTLS to track location of patients or even critical medical equipment. Such a technology provides a wide range of applications like triggering alerts on entry and exit of specific equipment/patient, restrict monitoring access based on user and location, provide augmented reality experience. This can also be used to help ambulances reach their destination faster by providing optimised routes. The traditional diagnostic techniques sometimes prevent people to opt out for a checkup. Whether it be due to the prick of a needle, closed spaces, or allowing x rays to pass through their body. Even today, a number of diseases remain undetected due to patients not willing to take the tests. Lot of progress has already been made in this regards and IoT shall do the rest. RTLS would play a significant role in this too. IoT would also come up with some more self-diagnostic devices, thus, creating more convenience for the patients to get treatment on time. After a number of major surgeries, patient’s recovery is solely dependent on the ambience he or she is kept in. Post surgery infections are real threats and its outcome can be anything from a prolonged hospital stay or even death. Air purification forms an important part of a healthy recovery. And remote controlling of air purifier just eases the process.
WCE (Wireless Capsule Endoscopy) deserves a special mention, when it comes to diagnostic accuracy. WCE is done by making the patient swallow a small capsule camera which would record the patient’s internal organs and has the potential of capturing certain parts of the gastrointestinal tract which are not visible in other diagnostic procedures. Moreover, even in terms of comfort factor, WCE is a high scale improvement over traditional endoscopy procedures. WCE has the potential to detect bleeding in the GI tract, which would otherwise remain undetected through traditional methods. Measurement forms an important aspect when it comes to replacement surgeries or implantations. In this regards Laser sensor based applications with the help of a connectivity module can give an accurate distance measurement.
ConclusionIoT would indeed be a boon in Healthcare industry once thoroughly tested. IoT do have certain challenges to overcome. We are still in the very onset of Industry 4.0 and IoT security is still a debated topic. But, with the current pace of growth in the domain, we can only hope for the bes for the healthcare industry.
- Image Pipeline Tunneling
- Innovative Hip-Alignment Navigation system for an American medical solutions OEM
- Real Time Location System (RTLS) development kit
- PathPartner & ST video testimonial at Embedded World 2018
- The Internet of Things: A movement, not a market
- 3 IoT Predictions for 2018
- Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare: benefits, use cases and evolutions
- The Theranos Scandal: What Happens When You Misunderstand Steve Jobs
- FDA approves first smart pill that tracks drug regimen compliance from the inside
- Quora Answers to self-diagnostic devices
- Research Shows Post-Surgical Infection Is A Very Real Threat
- Challenges in the Internet of Things
- IoT Security Issues, Challenges and Solutions